1000 Word Challenge

  • Welcome to Meridian Public School District's 1,000 Word Challenge!

    New and revamped MPSD’s 1,000 Word List is taken directly from The Fry 1,000 Instant Words. These instant words are the most common words used for teaching reading, writing, and spelling. 

    Dr. Edward B. Fry first published his list in 1957, with revisions and updates in 1980, and in 1996, published his research in a book titled Fry 1,000 Instant Words. He discovered that: 

    • 25 words make up approximately 1/3 of all items published.
    • 100 words comprise approximately ½ of all words found in publications.
    • 300 words make up approximately 65% of all written material. 
    • Over half of every newspaper article, textbook, children’s story, and novel is composed of the first 300 words! 
    • It is difficult to write a sentence without using several of the first 300 words in the word list.


    Dr. Fry’s Instant Words include all parts of speech and are ranked in order of frequency. These high-frequency words should be recognized instantly by readers. Memorizing the 1,000 words will improve your child’s speed, accuracy, and comprehension in all areas of reading. Students will work on one list at a time. Your job is to practice these words at home in preparation for your child being assessed at school. When your child has identified all 100 words on the first list, the next 100 will be sent home. Students will practice these words at school. The goal is for every child in MPSD to be able to instantly recognize all 1,000 words by 5th grade, if not sooner.  At the end of each school year, your child’s progress will be passed on to the next year’s teacher.

    What you can do:

    1. Post these words in a safe place.

    2. Put the words on flashcards and practice them throughout the week as part of your regular homework routine.  There are also apps for devices that can be downloaded to help with practicing.

    3. Encourage your child on to the next level and praise their success!